EPA's social media campaign broke law
The Environmental Protection Agency engaged in "covert propaganda" in violation of federal law when it blitzed social media to urge the general public to support President Obama's rule intended to better protect the nation's streams and surface waters, the Government Accountability Office ruled Monday. It opened its investigation after a report in the New York Times about the agency's practices. The EPA rolled out a social media campaign on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Thunderclap to counter opposition to its water rule. Federal laws prohibit agencies from engaging in lobbying and propaganda.
Ex-soldier pleads guilty to plot to join ISIL
A former Illinois Army National Guard specialist faces up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to a plot to join ISIL overseas while his cousin attacked the Joliet Armory where he had been stationed. Hasan Edmonds, 23, of Aurora, admitted to one count each of conspiring to and attempting to provide material support and resources to a terrorist group. U.S. District Judge John Z. Lee set sentencing for March 18. His cousin, Jonas Edmonds, pleaded guilty last week to similar charges.
725,000 flee homes as typhoon makes land
About 725,000 people fled their homes and communities braced for heavy rain and coastal floods of up to 13 feet as Typhoon Melor slammed into the eastern Philippines. Classes, flights and ferry trips were suspended. The government's weather bureau said the typhoon was packing winds of 95 miles per hour with gusts up to 115 mph, and heavy to intense rain. Melor made landfall Monday morning on tiny Batag Island in the eastern Philippines, and a second landfall was expected in Sorsogon Province.
Bus crash kills 43 police officers
At least 43 police officers were killed when a bus in a convoy in northern Argentina blew a tire and veered off the side of a bridge, falling about 65 feet in a crash. The bus was one of three carrying police near Salta, a city about 932 miles north of Buenos Aires. The National Gendarmerie officers, a special police force typically charged with patrolling frontier regions, were on their way to Jujuy, a region in northern Argentina that borders Bolivia.
Court rules in cash transfer to N. Korea
Singapore sent a stern warning to companies doing business for North Korea, with a court handing down guilty verdicts to a local shipping agent accused of transferring money to help Pyongyang buy weapons. The case against Chinpo Shipping — which had transferred millions of dollars for North Korea — revealed a trove of information about how North Korea has been using intermediaries to send money through the international banking system without detection.